This was our farm in Kingston Tennessee.  We were brief minders of this farm, and it was our pleasure to build, grow, smell, taste and live life on this farm.  


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If you have followed our journey over the last years, you have seen our joys, frustrations and most importanly our dream unfold.  A legacy East Tennessee homestead that had been seen a generation come and go.  We loved the idea of being caretakers for this beautiful homestead for a few years, restoring the home to functionality, and living closer to the land.

The homestead has been our joy over the last years.  We have planted fruit trees (apple, peach, fig), blueberry bushes, and grow bushels of corn, peas, green beans, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and lots more.  And we also grew a few thousand flowers – sunflowers, zinnia’s, lisianthus, celosia, sweet peas, tulips, ranunculus, snapdragons and more.

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The Land

The homestead is 38 acres, with about 3 acres in field, 3 acres in a power line, and the rest in woodland.   We set out years ago to begin a conservancy program with the land – allowing natural grasses and areas to flourish, while removing non native species.  The work is still very much ongoing.  Our homestead is home to lots of deer, turkey, and a few quail.


The Old Homestead

The Homestead is on a well, with a commercial water option only 30 feet away.  There are  natural seeps on the property.  The homestead is situated in a valley, and the hills will drain rich minerals into the bottom valley, which has been an incredible place to grow.  We have begun projects to reclaim the water as it comes through the hills.  


Barn and Workshop

The barn is an old tobacco barn – its not only a disappearing piece of Americana, but a great place to store implements and tools.  There are twelve bays in the barn, and storage could be added to the top rafters of the barn to add more space.

A homestead workshop with a rudimentary blacksmith shop is also on site.  The blacksmith forge has not been used in years, but could no doubt be reclaimed by a clever homesteader.  The workshop is 30×20, and has power to the building. 


Growing and High Tunnels

There are two high tunnels, which allow 12 month gardening.  The largest of the two high tunnels is 90×30, and the smaller is 20×20.  Both high tunnels are located behind the barn, and are oriented from South to North.  We also have a 20×25 greenhouse/propogation house next to the house.


Smokehouse, Cooler, Red Shed and Workshop

One of the more interesting buildings on the homestead is the old smokehouse.  The smokehouse has a six foot poured concrete walls, and is 20 feet tall.  We have converted the Smoke House into a root cellar and cooler for our vegetables and flowers.  We used insulation, an AC, and A CoolBot to turn the 10x4x6 space into a cooler that will easily hold at 34 degrees, which is perfect for aging meat.  It can also store flowers at 42 degrees. Up front is a large workshop, which we used for storage and for odd jobs over the years.  This space is 15×40 and would make a great processing shed.   We also added a Mennonite built 10×16 red shed, which is great for storage of items or could be used as a work area.



The house is 1375 square feet and has been for us a home.  We have imagined the family that lived in this house, and the meals, and the changes that they saw in the almost 50 years that they held the home.  We have kept the home as true to its origins as we could.  We have added a new roof, refitted the home with a modern electrical system, and replaced windows with more energy efficient windows.  We have also added new appliances, and a new hot water heater.  Inside we have sanded the walls to the original look – which is a variety of styles, all standard farmhouse including shiplap, and tongue in groove.  The home is three bedrooms, with one bath and two dens.  A wood burning stove graces the family room, and we have cooked over the wood stove many times with great results.


When a man looks at an old farm, many things will spring to life – the first probably the rustic beauty of the old tin, and wind weathered boards.  Perhaps the old homestead has a few clumps of jonquils around the entrance, where the lady of the house had planted a welcoming entrance for spring.  Various outbuildings in all varieties of disrepair are maybe the next sight to see – an old chicken coop, a well house, or maybe a root cellar.  

What is missing from this view, what you don’t see without a keen eye, is the sweat, the dreams and the love that a family put into the land.  For owning a homestead, or a farm is a labor of love.  In sweat and toil it is built, and with careful prayer and faith it grows.